A New York Times Book Review Notable Book, a Seattle Times Best Title, a Christian Science Monitor Best Fiction Book, a Miami Herald Favorite Book, and a Kirkus Best Book of the YearThe servants take center stage in this irresistibly imagined belowstairs answer to Pride and Prejudice. While Elizabeth Bennet and her sisters fuss over balls and husbands, Sarah, their orphaned housemaid, is beginning to chafe against the boundaries of her class. When a new footman arrives at Longbourn under mysterious circumstances, the carefully choreographed world she has known all her life threatens to be completely, perhaps irrevocably, upended. Mentioned only fleetingly in Jane Austen's classic, here Jo Baker dares to take us beyond the drawing rooms of Regency England and, in doing so, uncovers the real world of the novel that has captivated readers' hearts around the world for generations.
"Masterful . . . From the same stream that fed Austen's literary imagination, Baker has drawn forth something entirely new and fresh." --"Miami Herald" "If you are a Jane Austen fan with a pronounced predilection for "Pride and Prejudice, "you will devour Jo Baker's ingenious "Longbourn "as the ambrosia from the Austen gods it is . . . It's an idea that could have felt derivative or sycophantic in its execution, and yet the novel is rich, engrossing, and filled with fascinating observation . . . Dive in and you might even forget to watch "Downton Abbey."" --"O "magazine "An absorbing and moving story about the servants at Longbourn . . . Both original and charming, even gripping . . . If Charlotte Bronte had taken up the challenge of a sequel to "Pride and Prejudice, "she might very well have hit upon the sort of broader, more sympathetic point of view Jo Baker has derived from the servants' quarters." --Diane Johnson, "New York Times Book Review" ""Longbourn "is a bold novel, subversive in ways that prove surprising, and brilliant on every level. This is a masterful twist on a classic . . . Much more than a frothy, "Downton Abbey"-like twist on Austen. This novel is moving, filled with suspense, and impressive for the sympathy with which it explores the drudgery of the servants' lives, as well as their heartaches. That said, there's plenty of Austen-worthy wit too." --"USA Today" "Delightful . . . The achievement of Baker's reworking is that Sarah is no mere foil for Elizabeth Bennet; her notions of individual agency and the pursuit of happiness push more forcefully against the class and social strictures of her time than any character in Austen's novel. The result is a heroine whom it's impossible not to root for." --"The New Yorker"" ""A witty, richly detailed re-imagining of "Pride and Prejudice . . . "Fans of Austen and "Downton Abbey "will take particular pleasure in "Longbourn, "but any reader with a taste for well-researcA Best Book of the Year Selection: "New York Times "100 Notable, "Seattle Times, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, Kirkus Reviews"Rich, engrossing, and filled with fascinating observations. . . . If you are a Jane Austen fan . . . you will devour Jo Baker s ingenious "Longbourn.""O, The Oprah Magazine"Original and charming, even gripping, in its own right."The New York Times Book Review" Masterful."The" "Miami Herald" A witty, richly detailed re-imagining. . . . Fans of Austen and "Downton Abbey" will take particular pleasure in "Longbourn," but any reader with a taste for well-researched historical fiction will delight in Baker s involving, informative tale."People"A bold novel, subversive in ways that prove surprising, and brilliant on every level."USA Today"Delightful."The New Yorker" A triumph: a splendid tribute to Austen s original but, more importantly, a joy in its own right, a novel that contrives both to provoke the intellect and, ultimately, to stop the heart."The Guardian "(London)[A] fitting tribute, inventing a touching love story of its own."The Wall Street Journal" A freshly egalitarian reimagining."Vogue" [Baker s] writing style draws admirably from Austen s.Minneapolis "Star Tribune" Engaging and rewarding."The" "Washington Times" "Longbourn" is told with glee and great wit."The Daily Beast" The Bennet family s servants imagined by Baker have richly complicated lives and loyalties. . . . Baker deserves a bouquet. . . . Refreshing."The" "Seattle Times" There s a finale so back-of-the-hand-to-the-forehead romantic, someone should render it in needlepoint."Entertainment Weekly" Excellent. . . . In Sarah the housemaid, Baker has created a heroine, living in the same house as Elizabeth Bennet, who manages to shine despite Elizabeth s long literary shadow."Christian Science Monitor" Lively. . . . Baker s vivid passages about the natural world, working conditions and even of sorrow are . . . well detailed and articulated."The Plain Dealer" "Longbourn" is a really special book, and not only because its author writes like an angel. . . . There are some wildly sad and romantic moments; I was sobbing by the end. . . . Beautiful. Wendy Holden, "Daily Mail"(London)Inspired. . . . This is a genuinely fresh perspective on the tale of the Bennet household. . . . A lot of fun."Sunday Times"(London)This clever glimpse of Austen s universe through a window clouded by washday steam is so compelling it leaves you wanting to read the next chapter in the lives below stairs rather than peer at the reflections of any grand party in the mirrors of Netherfield."Daily Express"(London)Impressive. . . . An engrossing tale we neither know nor expect."Daily Telegraph"(London)"A Best Book of the Year Selection: New York Times 100 Notable, Seattle Times, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, Kirkus Reviews
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